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Hat Manufacture, Colonial Restriction on


HAT MANUFACTURE, COLONIAL RESTRICTION ON. Colonial manufactures, stimulated by the abundance of furs in New England and New York, made and exported hats to neighboring colonies, the West Indies, and southern Europe through the early eighteenth century. But in 1732, the influential Company of Felt-Makers in London persuaded Parliament to forbid colonial exportation of hats, require a seven years' apprenticeship, exclude blacks, and limit each manufacturer to two apprentices. New York exported hats labeled "British" from 1733 to 1735 and John Adams stated that Massachusetts hatmakers disregarded the law, but the industry's rapid growth after independence in 1783 suggests that the law had an inhibiting effect during the colonial period.


Kammen, Michael G. Empire and Interest: The American Colonies and the Politics of Mercantilism. Philadelphia: Lippincott, 1970.

McCusker, John J., and Kenneth Morgan, eds. The Early Modern Atlantic Economy. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2000.

Lawrence A.Harper/b. p.

See alsoBeaver Hats ; Colonial Commerce ; Colonial Policy, British ; Fur Trade and Trapping ; Mercantilism ; Navigation Acts .

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